David Hochman
November 07, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

In a twisted sort of way, The Jerry Springer Show is TV at its very best. Face it, no matter how demented your life gets, there’s always some cheesehead in Jerry’s green room with a scarier secret, a nastier compulsion, or, at the very least, a twangier accent than yours. But dagnabit, what really happens behind all those camera cutaways and bleeps? Let’s go to the videotape! Jerry Springer: Too Hot for TV!, a country cousin of Cops: Too Hot for TV! (both by Real Entertainment), is a slaphappy, censor-defying smorgasbord of the wackiest Jerry-atrics never allowed on the air. Chair-dodging Klansmen? A booty-shakin’ mom-to-be? Rabid teenage call girls? It’s in there!

Not surprisingly, the folks at Real claim the unexpurgated 54-minute video (due in stores in 1998; available since early October by mail for $19.95 — call 800-560-4321) is selling faster than lap dances at your husband’s boyfriend’s bachelor party. Though marketing VP Darren Howell won’t talk numbers, ”At this rate,” he boasts, ”it might outsell Cops,” which chalked up store sales of 500,000 plus, according to VideoScan.

What drives people to bare souls (and breasts) for Jerry? Springer says simply, ”Celebrities do it. Why shouldn’t everybody else?”

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